Hudgell Solicitors is delighted to be supporting two motorbike enthusiasts who are set to travel the length and breadth of the UK over seven days next month in a bid to raise vital funds for air ambulance services across the county.
Dave Ascough and Daren Cox will visit 17 air ambulance bases in the space of a week – travelling between 200 and 300 miles each day – in a bid to raise awareness of their work in supporting people who suffer serious and often life-threatening injuries.
Crucially, their ‘Roadbase Challenge’ – which will take place during National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) from September 11-17 – will also aim to highlight how air ambulance services operate only thanks to their own fundraising efforts and donations, receiving no day to day government or National Lottery funding.
National Air Ambulance Week aims to bring member charities together across the country, giving a national united voice and raising awareness of the life-saving service provided, and that together charities have to generate £120 million a year to operate 37 helicopters, with a volunteer network of over 2,500 keeping services in the air.
Challenge aims to raise awareness of ‘incredible work’ of air ambulance services
Mr Ascough, 47, who was a police officer 15 years and previously worked as a mountain leader, says he has seen the ‘incredible work’ of air ambulance services many times in his career, but was unaware until recently how hard they have to work to keep the service alive with no financial support from the Government.
“Every day air ambulance crews across the UK are tasked on emergency missions to deliver care to patients to ensure they get to the right medical treatment centre as quickly as possible, yet they do so without financial support from the Government,” he said.
“I am sure many people will be unaware of this and just assume they get funding like other emergency services. It is incredible to think that such a vital, life-saving services across the UK rely on fundraising and donations to operate, especially given the huge cost to do so.
“On many occasions they are helping people with life-threatening injuries, and at times risking their own lives to get to people other emergency services cannot reach quickly enough.
“As keen motorcyclists, we are amongst the most vulnerable of road users and therefore we recognise and appreciate the vital role air ambulance crews play in ensuring anybody injured on the roads receives the best possible treatment
“It was that which got myself and Daren talking about what we could do to raise awareness, and as people love a challenge, especially one which involves a bit of distance, we thought why not set a motorbike related task?
“The route is actually longer than the Coast to Coast or Land’s End to John O’Groats as we’ll cover about 1,900 miles in total over the week, and we hope that by creating and completing this challenge, we’ll also be able to establish a package of routes and planning tips at the end to inspire other riders from all over the country to follow and raise money for their own local air ambulance.
“It would be great to see others do the same and make a positive impact. It’s a real rider’s route, avoiding the motorways and taking in some of the best biking roads the country has to offer, so we think it is something other enthusiasts would like to do.”
People urged to donate to their local air ambulance base during awareness week
Dave and Daren are raising money to help fund for their own local service, the North West Air Ambulance Charity, through their own Just Giving page, but are encouraging people to also donate to their own nearest air ambulance base should they wish.
“Our message is that all air ambulance services need donations and support,” said Daren.
“It costs thousands of pounds a day to keep these helicopters in the air and millions of pounds each year, and it is only through the support of the public and sponsors that they can ensure they can be there for patients and their families in the future.”
Dave added: “We’ve had great support from all of the ambulance bases we are visiting, and many have said they’ll be waiting for us on the day, with the choppers, for a few pictures. We hope to create a bit of a buzz, secure some publicity and make people aware just how vital it is to donate whatever they can.
“We’ve been delighted to secure sponsorship from Hudgell Solicitors, who have provided funds to help us cover costs such as accommodation during the challenge and fuel. They were really keen to help us given their work supporting victims of serious road injuries.
“Air Ambulance services save lives. It is as simple as that, so we want to support them to continue to do so.”
Linda de Sá, Challenge Events Officer at North West Air Ambulance, where the challenge will start on September 11, said she was delighted to see Dave and Daren making such a huge effort to raise funds.
She said: “The Roadbase Challenge is a fantastic way of raising awareness of air ambulance charities across the UK, the vital work they do, and importantly just how difficult it is to provide these vital services and the need for fundraising activities and initiatives such as this.
“We are obviously delighted that Dave and Daren have chosen to complete the challenge in aid of North West Air Ambulance.
“It is fantastic to see it starting to get sponsorship and media attention, and we hope many bases benefit from their work, whilst obviously wishing them they best of luck for their journey.”
Air Ambulance services crucial in helping seriously injured people who turn to Hudgell Solicitors
Andrea Beer, general marketing manager at Hudgell Solicitors, said: “In our work supporting victims of serious injury, many of whom have been injured in accidents on the roads, we have seen first-hand the importance of the wonderful services of air ambulance crews across the country.
“When we heard of this challenge being undertaken by Dave and Daren, and the aim to raise funds, we immediately wanted to support them.
“Hopefully, this Roadbase Challenge will be the first of many taken up by people to help raise funds for air ambulance charities across the country.”
To donate to the North West Air Ambulance Charity as part of the Roadbase Challenge, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dave-ascough.
Alternatively donate to your local base by looking up their Just Giving page.
Air ambulance bases on the Roadbase Challenge Tour
North West Air Ambulance Charity
Midlands Air Ambulance
Wales Air Ambulance charity
Great Western Air Ambulance (Bristol)
Cornwall Air Ambulance
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance
Wiltshire Air Ambulance
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
Thames Valley Air Ambulance
Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance
Essex and Herts Air Ambulance
Magpas Air Ambulance
East Anglia Air Ambulance
Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance
Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance
Great North Air Ambulance